Youth Leadership Forum
The Chattanooga and Hamilton County Medical Society and Medical Foundation of Chattanooga host the Annual Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine. The program encourages rising high school juniors and seniors to consider careers in medicine. During the course of the week, students enjoy daily roundtable discussions with physicians and observing (shadowing) a different physician each day.
The program is designed to:
"This program is a great way to educate students on the realities of the field of medicine," said Nita Shumaker, MD, President of the Medical Society. "We aim to inspire these talented young people to pursue a career in the field."
This year, the Youth Leadership Forum will be conducted June 3-6, 2013. Deadline for receiving applications is April 12, 2013. For more information, contact Kevin Lusk at 423-622-2872 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Medical Explorations Background Information
Dr. Kent Hutson, Chief of Radiology at Erlanger Health System and Chair of Radiology at University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga, is the Director of Medical Explorations; a program developed to introduce rising high school and college students to the world of healthcare in a medical setting.
"The purpose of the program is to generate interest and inspire students to go into healthcare," said Dr. Hutson. "The students will participate in tasks that are closer to what medical students do when they come to the hospital. It will give them a very unique behind-the-scenes look at a career in medicine."
The four-week summer program, funded by the Erlanger Auxiliary, will give the students an estimated 160 hours in a medical setting shadowing specialties they are interested in seeing and some specialties they may have not already known.
"We encourage the students to develop skills in communication and networking," added Dr. Hutson. "We will work closely with the UTCOM Chattanooga and they will meet a variety of individuals such as medical students and residents, instructors and the dean of UTCOM Chattanooga. The students will also visit several hospital departments assigned to them each week, attend lectures on various topics and participate in discussions."
The Medical Explorations program is modeled on a successful program offered each summer at University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Students must submit official documentation of a GPA of 3.5 or higher and grade level of a high school senior or 2010 or 2011 high school graduate, a letter of reference from a teacher and a permission form from their parent or guardian in order to be considered for the selection process. Part of the online application are two essay questions about extracurricular activities and awards, as well as what you hope to learn from the experience.
All participants are expected to maintain a professional manner, undergo mandatory training and follow hospital regulations.
Each year approximately twelve remarkable students who proved they are in good standing in school and have shown an interest in becoming a medical professional were chosen to participate in the Medical Explorations Program at Erlanger's Baroness Campus.
Jeffery Daniel's high school guidance counselor offered him the letter about the program just before he graduated from Grace Baptist Academy this spring. Although he is uncertain about what he wants to major in, he will be attending Chattanooga State Technical Community College with more than a few college credits already out of the way.
"I applied to the Medical Explorations program thinking it would be a good opportunity to see what is available in the medical field," said Mr. Daniel. "I thought it would be a good benefit for college, because it looks good to have one more extra item that someone else may not have on their application."
Not only did Mr. Daniel realize what a great lead it would give him in the college application process, he also knew the program would give him some experience in multiple medical fields and would help him decided if there is a particular area he is interested in.
When asked what he would take away from this experience, he said, "It's good to try it out because you may not know what you are getting in to if you don't have the opportunity. Also, you have to do a lot of standing no matter what specialty you are in."
Kasey Ferrell, a rising senior at Soddy-Daisy High School, also understands how important this opportunity is to her and her future. Since her brother had a brain injury and stayed in a hospital for several weeks, Ms. Ferrell has always had an interest in pediatric care. She already has plans to attend University of North Florida and then transfer to medical school in hopes of becoming a pediatric physical therapist.
"Since we have the opportunity to work in our interested areas, I am able to learn everything I need to know about pediatrics to see if it is what I want to do," said Ms. Ferrell. "We have close interaction with the doctors. We can talk to them and learn what they do."
Ms. Ferrell has learned from talking to some of the medical professionals that it is really important to pay attention in school.
"Not only do they learn all the medical terms, they also have to make it easier for common people to understand," said Ms. Ferrell.
The students who graduate from the program in early July with a better understanding of what it is like to care for people in a variety of medical areas. They will see medical procedures and hear about medical conditions that young adults their age would not normally experience. In the end, their medical mentors hope many of them will continue with their dreams of entering the healthcare field.
Dr. Hutson is looking forward to offering many more Medical Explorations programs in the future and hopes to create smaller programs for other area high school students. The Medical Explorations Program for 2013 (based at UT College of Medicine and Erlanger) will be June 10 - 28, 2013. Application Deadline will be April 19, 2013.
For more information about the Medical Explorations program, contact Dr. Kent Hutson at 423 778-7371 or email email@example.com.
*Photos and information were provided in an article in the online newpaper, "The Chattanoogan." Web address is http://www.chattanoogan.com.